The Fangirl’s Guide to Ladies Winning The Internet: The Extended Edition
For The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy, I wanted to speak the awesomest geeky gals in the biz, all about how their experience as a fan has influenced and shaped their lives. Unfortunately, due to a tight page count and a super-mean editor (just kidding, love you Blair! <3), we could only fit a few interviews into the final book. But there was so much goodness left over that I just had to share their geek girl wisdom with the world.
Today, I bring you some fangirl fabulousness from the wicked women of the Internet, including Victoria McNally, Susana Polo, Rachael Berkey, Mia Moore, Melissa Kay, Nicole Wakelin, Kristin Hackett, and Brittney Brombacher.
Writer for MTV News and unapologetic Sailor Moon fangirl. Follow her at @vqnerdballs
“Well, [being a fangirl] got me a job and a bunch of great friends, for starters! But I also think that growing up with stories and connecting to their characters can teach you a lot about the world. We meet many different kinds people in our lives, but we rarely get the chance to sit down with everyone and ask just what makes them tick (and doing so would probably be pretty invasive). The best kinds of fiction give you the chance to do exactly that, and the best kinds of geek fiction allow you to reach even further and imagine impossible realities that challenge you to do better. Seriously, my work-out playlist is made up mostly of TV, movie, and video game soundtracks for a reason: tapping into the strength of my favorite heroes can be inspiring. (Okay, there’s some Beyoncé in that playlist, too. But, you know… duh.)”
Entertainment Editor for Polygon, creator of The Mary Sue. Follow her at @NerdGerhl
“I spent years and years feeling ostracized both from non-geek culture and geek culture at the same time, worried that I wasn't geeky enough to be accepted by the people around me (i.e., the boys, at least at that particular time of my life) who shared my interests. I literally considered myself a ‘geek wannabe’ in the same way that characters in high school comedies consider themselves a ‘popular kid wannabe.’ And while that does account for my encyclopedic knowledge of Batman, it sometimes kept me from making friends or accepting opportunities to have fun. It wasn't until I got to college that I made the mental break through that anyone who would turn their noses up at my interests or lack of interests wasn't worth thinking about. That's a very tough thing to do as a young person, especially if you're in a small community, so let this be your mantra: if somebody thinks you're too geeky to respect: fuck 'em. If somebody thinks you're not geek enough to respect: fuck 'em.”
Writer and contributor for Hello Giggles, Huffington Post, The Mary Sue, and Buzzfeed, and curator of online content. Follow her at @Bookoisseur
“At the moment, all of my best friends – the people I pour my heart and soul out to – have been friends I met online, at conventions or over video games. I honestly can't imagine any more positive influence than that. The geek community is the one I know I can always come home to and they always have my back. Without fail, they share my articles, commiserate with me when something goes wrong, and have been known to do things far more generous than necessary for ‘strangers’ to do when they are feeling generous.”
Blogger at xo Mia and Superheroesque, talking cosplay and style. Follow her at @xomiamoore.
“To me, being a fangirl means being really, really enthusiastic and excited about something. I think you can fangirl over anything, from comics and games, to movies, TV shows, and even non-geeky hobbies, like sports. The important part is not what you love, but how much you love it!”
Medical illustrator, toy painter, writer for Dance With Zombies, and creator of awesomely-geeky art. Follow her at @mechamelissa.
“I’ve made lifelong friends through these shared passions, partook in experiences I could only have dreamed about, and learned to love myself, inspired by the strength of my favorite characters/stories/etc. It's brought me happiness and a sense of belonging knowing there are others like me out there.”
Creator of Total Fan Girl, writer for Nerd Approved, Fashionably Geek, GeekMom, That’s Nerdalicious, and more. Follow her at @NicoleWakelin
“Never be afraid to be who you are. Never try to conform just to fit in with a certain crowd. You are what you are and you'll be happiest when you're true to yourself. And you'll be surprised how often you'll find other geek girls to share in the things you love.”
Founder of The Nerdy Girlie, San Diego Comic-Con expert, and everyday cosplay enthusiast. Follow her at @TheNerdyGirlie.
“The advice I would give to geek girls, especially young ones, is to be yourself and don't be sorry for it. It has taken me thirty years to realize that if I want something, I have to go after it. If I love something, I am going to love it with my entire self. Love who you are and people will love you!”
Star of Syfy’s Fangasm and co-founder of Super Space Chick. Follow her at @SuperSpaceChick
“I think it's important to be unabashedly true to yourself and to focus on the things that make you the happiest. Stand up for what you believe in and do not let anyone ever make you feel inadequate or that you're not a ‘real’ fan of something. Life is way too short to spend doing things you don't enjoy or wasting time on people who are going to criticize you unwarrantedly. My second favorite Oscar Wilde quote is completely applicable here: ‘Be yourself; everyone else is taken.’”
Creator of BlondeNerd.com, games writer, and awesome YouTuber. Follow her at @BlondeNerd
“We are what we are, right? Some of us are industry-specific geeks, some of us are science buffs, others fashion gurus, foodies, etc. But I don’t think it’s until you embrace what you love and who you are as a person that you reap the rewards. Embracing that I love video games and just running with it and seeing the positive outcome has been the most rewarding. It’s allowed me to meet AMAZING people and build friendships I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. I’ve attended countless gaming conventions and, really, I’ve been put in the frontline of the industry I love so much. In short, it taught me the age-old cliché lesson of ‘You can do anything you set your mind to.’ And now that I know that's true, I'm constantly striving to improve all aspects of my life, not just my video game career.”
SAM MAGGS is an Assistant Writer at BioWare and the bestselling author of WONDER WOMEN and THE FANGIRL’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, both from Quirk Books. An authority on women in pop culture, Sam was named “Awesome Geek Feminist of the Year” by Women Write About Comics and has spoken on the topic for The New York Times, Vulture, NPR, the CBC, Space Channel, and more. Her first comic is forthcoming from IDW. Among others, Sam has also been published by Marie Claire, PC Gamer, The Guardian, and the National Post. Sometimes you might see her on TV and movie screens. She loves YA lit, Pacific Rim, Mass Effect, Carol Danvers, and Jeff Goldblum.